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22/08/05

Permalink 19:07:54, by matt Email , 107 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Politics

FTA with US can only be good for NZ

Link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10341861

or so says Helen. And, indeed, any politician from a major party who goes on the record on the matter.
I call bullshit. How would it be good for NZ to be forced to adopt US intellectual property protection laws? How would it be good for NZ to be forced to drop Pharmac's reference-pricing policy?

I wrote to Jim Sutton about this last year, and received the expected brush-off about it. Waffle and avoidance, with no substantial response. It's a shame that I can't expect National to exhibit any greater degree of concern, since their ideological positon is well-known - free markets and free trade at any cost.

Permalink 18:27:52, by matt Email , 85 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Politics

Nothing like a spot of speeding, eh?

So, we've established that speeding is OK when overtaking - well, according to the Transport Minister it is - but the official Police position is that exceeding the speed limit is never permissible unless you're an emergency vehicle.
However, according to Fast and Safe you will require over two kilometres to legally overtake a truck that's travelling 90km/h if you are only doing 100. Utter insanity! At what point does dogma become so totally indefensible that it gets abandoned?

Thanks to DPF for spotting that nice link.

Permalink 18:18:15, by matt Email , 155 words   English (NZ)
Categories: International events

Good to see the Catholics are so consistent

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4172162.stm

Pope Benny, that hardened relic of the ancient Church, is obviously rather confused at present.
Either the clergy must be celibate, or it's optional. How can such dogmatic inconsistency convince people that the Church is their rock, the unchanging source of moral guidance? Not to mention the fact that the man is a former Anglican, a denomination with which the Catholics have rather little common ground. They don't even have the same view of some of the sacraments, such as anointing with oil - in the Anglican world it's done to the sick as well as those who are near death, but to the Catholics it's what's more commonly known as the last rites.
There's also confession, a concept most foreign to Anglicans but of absolute necessity to any practicing Catholic.

It's a most bizarre act, in so many ways, that one can't help wondering what Benedict was thinking when he granted the request Papal sanction.

21/08/05

Permalink 19:22:43, by matt Email , 107 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Politics

Brash sees no need for the Army

Link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10341780

Well, that's how it appears. An army is not a domestic security force - well, it's not meant to be - and is thus meant to go overseas. So if Don won't send them to fight or to keep the peace, what the hell use are they?
This is a man who's quite happy to run down what Labour have done to bring our military back to shape after years of neglect by National, but he doesn't want to actually use that military. What's the point, then? An army is expensive, and just having them sitting around with no chance of deployment seems like a terrible waste of money.

20/08/05

Permalink 21:33:07, by matt Email , 75 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary, blog

Wanted: One non-fringe civil liberties group

When I read articles such as this, I get concerned. Ben's wise words keep coming back to haunt me, and I want to do more than just wail about it on here.

So, if anyone knows of any civil liberties groups that are more mainstream and less political than the Greens, or The Revolutionary Workers' League, please let me know. I just want a group like the ACLU, but without the lack of firm principles.

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Shocking as it may be, I think, and sometimes those thoughts are almost worthy of public contemplation. So, here are those some thoughts, with no guarantees as to their validity, worth, or utility to the cosmos. All thoughts are my own, representing only my thoughts, opinions and positions, unless explicitly otherwise stated. This blog is not an official or unofficial outlet for any company or government body, or for person other than myself.

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